Home Social SEO: Google Adds +1 Button To Image Search

Social SEO: Google Adds +1 Button To Image Search

Google continues the inevitable wallpapering of the Web with the +1 button, adding it to image search today. This makes Google image search into a social affair, highlighting images and displaying annotated recommendations from your +friends. Images will now appear in the +1 tab of Google+ profiles.

This extends the Google+-powered personalization of Google search results into the realm of images. Social search could be the greatest impact of Google+, since the +1 button now affects the way Google search results appear. For anyone logged into his or her Google account, social signals have begun to affect the results of all kinds of Web searches whether users want that or not.

Google introduced the +1 button in June, about a month before Google+ was unveiled. It didn’t make much sense until the social network opened and Google users got a profile with a +1 tab. Then Google added +snippets for sharing pages to Google+ with the button, and it became useful. It was just like Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, only for Google+.

But because of Google’s search business, the button has some subtle but important implications. It provides feedback to website administrators in Google Analytics, and it now appears on desktop and mobile AdSense ads, allowing Google to monetize the social feedback. But the most important implication of +1 is clear from today’s addition to image search: it actually affects search rank.

Google+: Social SEO

With yesterday’s launch of Google+ pages for brands, some new implications of Google+ appeared. As well as allowing fans to +1 a brand, it also gives brands the opportunity to add their page’s name to a program called Google+ Direct Connect. Once enrolled, users who search for “+[page name]” in regular Google search will be taken straight to a Google+ page. Google+ is not just for sharing now; it’s an important part of being discovered through Google search.

Google+ has also infiltrated Google News. Articles now display authors’ Google+ profiles, as well as their circle counts and the ‘Add to circles’ button, right alongside Google News headlines. Furthermore, search results now privilege Google profiles when searching for an author’s name.

As Google continues to plaster the +1 button and Google+ profiles everywhere, these will become increasingly important factors in how each new kind of content appears in search results. Whether Google+ takes off as a social network or not, anyone optimizing content for Google search will have to adopt it.

Speaking of which, don’t forget to add ReadWriteWeb to your Google+ circles.

Do you click +1 on content while you’re surfing the Web?

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